PUBLISHED:February 07, 2013

Duke Law conference March 1-2 examines national security concerns from cyberwar to piracy

“Battlefields, Boardrooms, and Backyards: The New Face of National Security Law” brings experts together March 1-2 at Duke Law School to examine questions —both new and abiding—that arise at the juncture of law, ethics and national security.  The annual conference, hosted by Duke’s Center on Law, Ethics and National Security (LENS) will feature experts and advocates from the military, human rights organizations, government, business, and academia discussing issues ranging from cyberwar, piracy, technology, military commissions, civil-military relations and how defense and business relate in the global marketplace.      

“We know that national security issues have moved beyond the battlefield,” says Professor of the Practice Charles Dunlap, executive director of LENS, the conference’s primary sponsor. “But we need a 21st century strategy for dealing with and discussing, for instance, the ethical and legal questions arising from technological developments in the cyberwar realm.  We also need to think more about how security issues pose legal challenges in the boardrooms of global businesses, and how we are all affected – even in our backyards - by matters of domestic surveillance.”

Dunlap, a retired major general and former deputy judge advocate general of the United States Air Force, said he expects an especially lively discussion during the panel on “Building the Terminator? Law and Policy for Autonomous Weapons’ Systems.” Panelists at that session, including Human Rights Watch’s Tom Malinowski and Professor Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg of the U.S. Naval War College will examine legal and ethical questions involved in the deployment of robotic weapons. 

Another highlight will be a luncheon discussion with Brigadier General Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor for military commissions currently underway at Guantanamo Naval Base.

Four-star General Jim Mattis, USMC, the current commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees the Middle East, Southwest Asia and the Horn of Africa will be the keynote speaker at a Friday-night dinner session at the Washington Duke Inn. 

Duke Law Professor Nita Farahany, who has testified on civil liberties and surveillance technology before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, will take part in a panel discussion on “Technology, Privacy, and Security.” That session will be moderated by Duke Law Visiting Assistant Professor Margaret Hu, formerly an attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Other notable speakers at the conference will include:

  • Jay B. Stephens, Vice President and General Counsel of Raytheon Company
  • Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project
  • Hon. Charles Blanchard, General Counsel, Department of the Air Force

The conference is open to the public, but is currently fully booked with no more available seating.

The conference takes place in room 3041 at Duke Law School, located at 210 Science Drive on Duke University’s West Campus. Parking is available for a fee at the Science Drive lot and at the Bryan Center garage.

View the full agenda.

NOTE: Members of the media interested in attending the conference should email Forrest Norman at The Friday night keynote dinner is for non-media conference attendees only. A live webcast of conference events, not including the Friday night keynote dinner, will be available on the Duke Law Ustream channel.

The conference is sponsored by the Duke’s Center on Law, Ethics and National Security, with support from the Program in Public Law.